Superintendent Kevin Smith made two big announcements on Wednesday, March 10: the Wilton School District will roll out its COVID-19 surveillance testing program of students and staff this week, and has also made significant changes to the quarantine policy used by the schools.
The district changed its quarantine protocols after the Wilton Health Department adopted revised CT Department Public Health quarantine guidelines. The state changed its guidelines in December following changes made by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Smith said that the schools’ new policy will take effect as of cases that were reported as of Tuesday, March 9. Any individuals who were quarantined on that date will be contacted by their building’s administrators regarding their new quarantine period. Anyone assigned a quarantine period prior to Tuesday, March 9 will be required to complete the remainder of their originally scheduled 14-day quarantine period.
Detailed guidelines are the CT DPH are available online, but Smith included the highlights below for quick reference.
10-day quarantine option:
- Daily self-monitoring and no COVID symptoms for 10 days (exposure date is day 0)
- Continued self-monitoring for 4 more days (days 11-14)
- After 10-day quarantine, continued adherence to precautions like mask-wearing, avoiding gatherings, etc.
7-day quarantine option:
- Daily self-monitoring and no COVID symptoms for 7 days (exposure date is day 0)
- COVID test (antigen or molecular) taken after 5 days and result returns negative – the person MUST remain in quarantine for the full 7 days, even if the test result is sooner
- Continued self-monitoring for 7 more days (days 8-14)
- After 7-day quarantine, continued adherence to precautions like mask-wearing, avoiding gatherings, etc.
Surveillance Testing Program Begins
The district also will begin a phased-in approach to voluntary COVID surveillance testing this week. Surveillance testing involves periodically testing a percentage of the school population to provide information about the presence of COVID in individuals. The Wilton Public Schools’ full plan can be found online; Smith provided highlights, below:
- Participation is completely voluntary.
- The student and staff population will be invited to volunteer by signing up online each week and up to 5% from each building will be selected. Students and staff may not participate two weeks in a row, allowing for 10-20% of the population to be tested over the course of one month.
- Participants will be required to produce a saliva sample which will be collected in a self-administered test kit.
- All students and staff will take their test kits home, produce their samples at home the next morning, and return their samples to their school’s drop-off location (front booth/main office area). Saliva samples will be shipped to Minimus Labs, where they will be pooled and tested. If there is a positive result, further testing will be conducted to identify the COVID-positive individual.
- Within 24-36 hours of receiving the samples, Minimus Labs will report results to the district and individual results will be reported to the participants.
- The district will begin with Middlebrook School (testing next week), and will phase in one additional school each week as follows: Middlebrook, WHS/Genesis, Cider Mill, Miller-Driscoll, District
The WPS COVID tracker has been updated and can be found on the district’s website at any time.
COVID-19 DAILY TRACKER WHS MB CM MD GN DST Total Staff Confirmed Positive: Isolating 1 0 1 1 0 0 3 Students Confirmed Positive: Isolating 2 2 6 3 0 0 13 Staff – Close Contact: Quarantining 1 1 16 8 0 2 28 Students – Close Contact: Quarantining 41 11 96 44 0 0 192 3.10.2021 @ 2:45 pm